1960 – “Minotaur” Remote Manipulator – General Mills (American)
The Los Alamos Minotaur—presumably so called because of its bull-like strength and man-like arms—is an exception to the statement that electrical unilateral manipulator arms are used singly (fig. 108 below). A pair of manipulator arms plus a second pair of adjustable arms holding lights and TV cameras protrude from a sphere-like turret supported from above by a bridge-crane carriage. The Minotaur was originally built to Los Alamos specification by General Mills, Inc. A representative application is the maintenance of radioactive equipment in the shielded bay containing the Los Alamos UHTREX (Ultra High Temperature Reactor Experiment).
The Minotaur now incorporates PaR Model 3500 with a capacity of 50 pounds in any configuration. The hand grip is adjustable between 0 and 75 pounds. Minotaur's overhead access to the working area by means of a telescoping support tube and the bridge-crane carriage is almost mandatory in the UHTREX application because the working area is a maze of large and small components, pipes, and many electrical conduits. Without an overhead mobile teleoperator with TV cameras, much of the work space would be inaccessible for months.
The Minotaur is presumably so called because of its bull-like strength, man-like arms and because the working area is a maze of large and small components, pipes, and many electrical conduits.
To provide a higher degree of assurance that maintenance functions can be performed, a remote maintenance machine is required, having a capability of working within the highest radiation fields expected during shutdown. The proposed device, called "Minotaur I," is illustrated in Fig. 7, and will be suspended from an overhead bridge crane on a telescoping vertical column. The machine will be equipped with TV viewing cameras and two mechanical arms, equivalent to the General Mills Model 150 manipulator.
The Minotaur originally had General Mills Model 150 manipulator arms. The specifications can be seen above. For UHTREX (Ultra High Temperature Reactor Experiment), the Minotaur upgraded to PaR Model 3500 arms. [PaR for Programmed and Remote Systems, was the spin-off of the manipulator arms division of General Mills.]
See other early Teleoperators here.